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In Terms of Immigration, What Is a Coyote?

Regarding immigration, human smugglers are referred to as “coyotes”. A coyote serves as a guide to illegal immigrants, hired to bring people across the border into the United States. Most coyotes are known to be abusive to their clients. On some occasions, illegal immigrants are even said to be abandoned by these coyotes.

Once the illegal immigrants have reached a certain destination in the United States, a vehicle picks them up and transports them to a target place where family or friends are waiting. The coyote’s fee is then paid, and the smugglers go back to where they came from. Different payment schemes can be used. The fees can be paid before crossing the border, or partly given as a deposit and the balance is paid upon safe passage to the final destination.

Coyotes are usually well versed with the area they are crossing and know the best routes to take to stay away from roving authorities. They have insider knowledge about borders and authority routines. Some coyotes are even rumored to be former border police officers and guards.

A penalty is given to coyotes who are caught smuggling illegal immigrants into the United states. The immigrants who are caught with the coyote are usually brought back to Mexico. These immigrants usually hope for better living conditions on US soil, where more better paying jobs await them. Work opportunities for these illegal immigrants are usually meager, blue-collar jobs like janitors, delivery men, taxi drivers, convenience store cashiers, grocery stackers, and the like.

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